June 13, 2016
Vodafone has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because of an advertising campaign that implied unlimited internet access for a flat rate fee.
A complaint to the ASA argued that the advert implied unlimited internet access for £7.50 per month, and as such it was misleading as Vodafone has strict data limits of 120MB per month.
The poster in question advertised Vodafone’s mobile phone internet service as ‘Any website, any time. £7.50 a month. Make the most of now.’
Small print at the bottom of the poster detailed that data transfer was limited to 120 MB per month, and was subject to other terms and conditions.
Vodafone defended the poster, arguing that in the context of the advert, the word ‘any’ meant ’some or even the smallest amount of.’
The company also contended that the small print at the bottom of the poster made the data allowance limits abundantly clear.
However, the complaint was upheld by the ASA, who ruled that the advert could be understood as a claim to ‘unlimited’ internet access for a fixed monthly fee.
Furthermore, the ASA argued that the small print was not prominent enough to make the terms and conditions of the deal obvious to passers by.
Vodafone has withdrawn the poster from use, and has been told not to use it again in its current form.